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Rick Scott presses Air Force on housing for MacDill, Tyndall

The Air Force already has pledged a swift review of mold reorts in MacDill base housing.

Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is pushing the U.S. Secretary for the Air Force for answers on how quickly housing concerns can be addressed regarding mold at MacDill Air Force Base and Hurricane Michael damage at Tyndall Air Force Base.

The Air Force already has vowed a swift review of the mold situation and contractors at MacDill, following a demand by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis for answers. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Bilirakis’ call, and now Scott’s join similar concerns raised by several Democratic U.S. senators regarding mold in military housing in other installations around the country.

Scott joined that call and added Tyndall, which has Air Force personnel and families in temporary housing following the October hurricane. The housing has drawn sharp criticism from Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

In a letter sent late Tuesday to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Scott, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern about reports of “unacceptable housing at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City following the devastation of Hurricane Michael, and the mold and pests reported at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.”

Scott met with Wilson last week and his letter outlined questions about how the federal government will address both issues, as well as broader reconstruction issues at Tyndall.

Among his questions are whether there are factors other than funding issues that can speed up reconstruction at Tyndall; whether it will be rebuilt exactly as it was before the storm; whether there are public-private partnership opportunities; and whether there are plans in place to remedy reports of mold and pests in MacDill housing.

I appreciate all you do for our military, and I know you share my goal of making sure our military has the very best resources. I will always do everything I can to give back to those who give so much for us. I look forward to your answers, and working with you on solutions to improve the lives of our service members.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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